Grief-stricken Leicester Win At Cardiff

Leicester paid an emotional tribute to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha as the grief-stricken club won 1-0 at Cardiff following their owner’s tragic death, while Marcus Rashford fired Manchester United to a dramatic 2-1 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Thai billionaire Vichai was among five people killed when his helicopter crashed outside Leicester’s King Power Stadium following last Saturday’s match against West Ham.

The horrific accident triggered a week of mourning in Leicester and around the world of football.

With Vichai’s funeral underway on Saturday in Bangkok, Leicester headed to Cardiff for a match that served as a chance to honour their late owner and begin the healing process.

While results have been rendered irrelevant by the crash, it was fitting that Leicester took the points in their first match since Vichai’s death, thanks to Demarai Gray’s second-half winner at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Leicester’s players had worn white t-shirts bearing Vichai’s image and the words “The Boss” on the front of them during the pre-match warm-up.

On the back an inscription read “Khun Vichai You Will Be Forever In Our Hearts”.

A minute’s silence was impeccably observed, with a wreath laid on the pitch and images of Vichai shown on the scoreboards behind either goal.

Leicester’s players and staff linked arms on the centre circle to pay tribute during a poignant silence that left Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in tears.

Two giant flags in memory of Vichai were unfurled, one of them being passed from Cardiff supporters to their Leicester counterparts, as the game got underway.

Claude Puel’s team, playing with poise and desire despite their traumatic week, finally had a cathartic moment in the 55th minute.

A superb cross from Ben Chilwell was finished off by Gray, who celebrated by lifting his shirt to reveal a message that read “For Vichai”.

It earned Gray a booking from referee Lee Probert in a move that followed the letter of the law, but showed little common sense given the circumstances.

Leicester’s players huddled together in celebration at full-time, with many of them due to fly to Thailand to join Vichai’s funeral immediately after the game.

At Dean Court, Rashford’s close-range finish in stoppage-time helped United hit back after a dismal opening period.

Callum Wilson’s 11th-minute opener for Bournemouth was cancelled out by Anthony Martial’s 35th-minute effort as United survived a series of missed chances from the hosts.

– Sloppy start –

It was United’s third victory in their last four Premier League games, but boss Jose Mourinho was furious with his side’s latest sloppy start.

“I said at half-time I was the luckiest manager in the Premier League in a half when the score should be like 6-2,” Mourinho said.

“We were defensively awful. The first half was a disaster.

“The second half was much better. We created lots of chances and deserved to score before the 92nd minute.”

Newcastle earned their first league win this season as Ayoze Perez’s 66th-minute header sealed a 1-0 success against Watford at St James’ Park.

After 10 matches without a victory, Rafael Benitez’s side finally broke their duck to climb out of the relegation zone.

Richarlison’s brace inspired Everton’s 3-1 win over Brighton at Goodison Park.

Brazil forward Richarlison opened the scoring following a fine counter-attack in the 27th minute.

Lewis Dunk headed Brighton level six minutes later, but Seamus Coleman restored Everton’s lead in the 50th minute and Richarlison sealed the points in the 77th minute.

West Ham ended a three-match winless league run with a 4-2 victory against Burnley at the London Stadium.

Marko Arnautovic put West Ham in front after 11 minutes before Johann Berg Gudmundsson equalised on the stroke of half-time.

Felipe Anderson restored West Ham’s lead in the 68th minute, then Burnley’s Chris Wood levelled in the 77th minute.

West Ham finished strongly as Anderson netted in the 84th minute and Javier Hernandez struck in stoppage-time.

Later on Saturday, fourth-placed Arsenal host second-placed Liverpool in the game of the weekend, while Tottenham travel to Wolves in the day’s last match.

AFP.

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